Letter from Barcelona: From Gaudi dreams to Dali metaverse, a whimsical journey through old and new

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    Letters from Barcelona: A whimsical journey through the old and new, from Gaudi’s dream to Dali’s Metaverse

    First night in Barcelona after a week of traveling the coast of the Costa Brava, wandering through vineyards and remote mountain villages of Priorat, without encountering many tourists, really many humans. was a bit of a shock.

    Back in this big, bustling, beautiful city, car horns blaring, people everywhere, construction going on on every corner. This Gaudí dream city was the first place I visited when I was young when I started to get romantic about traveling.

    My first night back in Barcelona after a few years was an invitation from a member. Soho House, village squares, and places where cool, trendy, beautiful world sets congregate everywhere flying around the globe are today’s common answers. On the rooftop, a DJ plays music while gorgeous people sip cocktails against a backdrop of sparkling yachts in the blue waters of Portbell his marina.

    Feeling out of place like a swan in the desert, I was immersed in the moment and reminded myself of how globalized the world is. On his website, he counted 42 Soho houses around the world, but thought about how the old world and the new world collide. It’s hard to decipher where the old ends and the new begins.

    View of Port Vell Marina from Soho House Barcelona

    Soho House BarcelonaFor example, at A 19th-century building in the Gothic Quarter, it has been refurbished in a Catalan design, giving it a unique modern feel. My hotel, Barcelo Sants, sits on top of Barcelona’s largest train station, Sants, built in the 70s, and you’ll be greeted by an astronaut when you arrive.

    When I asked the receptionist why there are astronauts in the lobby, she shrugged and said, “That’s our theme.”

    The hotel is designed to look like a spaceship, and its website asks guests to “imagine that they are traveling through the galaxy.” A giant orbital bar dominates the lobby, and it’s amazing to see people constantly gathering around the bar, bowing their heads to their laptops and mobile screens rather than talking to each other, each trapped in their own virtual space. I can see it.

    In keeping with the spirit of Dalí’s travels, in Girona we stayed mainly in hotels about Dalí and in Cadaques we visited his house and museum. Decided to check out. Dali: CyberneticsI’m also interested in seeing how it differs from the Van Gogh immersive experience I tried in Singapore.

    Dali Cybernetics is less extensive, but somehow more intense. Perhaps that was the style of his work, but he was a man as fascinated by nature as he was by science and artificial intelligence. Born in 1904 and living until 1989, he witnessed the advent of modern technology, including the atomic age, which inspired some of his darkest works, and became obsessed with science and concepts such as the fluidity of time and space. I was.

    There’s a section about Dali’s relationship with artificial intelligence, where images morph and explode, and it’s pretty disturbing and somehow thrilling at the same time, and it’s exactly how many of us feel about AI at this point. is the same as being

    I also enjoyed the immersion in the screening zone where Dali’s art was brought to life on a giant 360-degree LED wall. You will be taken through the different eras of his work, from the emotional passage to the atomic age and beyond.

    But the highlight was the Dalinian Metaverse, which I felt was much more enhanced than what I experienced with Van Gogh. Wearing the goggles transforms the person in front of you into a numbered, floating astronaut head. You follow your head around like a ship.

    Prepare to enter the Dalinien Metaverse

    When you go on a voyage, you are overwhelmed by various elements. Eaten by giant lobsters (or anything resembling a lobster), giant candles flickering and blowing out, feeling the strong wind, storm clouds rolling in, and then entering a world of giant elephants and tigers. increase. walking between them

    Sometimes it feels so real that you want to reach for your phone to take a picture, and oh yeah, one moment you want to whack the flies that swarm you (all part of the Girona legend). I’m in the mood.

    I know some people are skeptical about VR and the Metaverse, but after experiencing this enhanced version and timing it with the launch of the Apple Vision Pro, the technology is just the beginning and its I can only imagine an application example. It includes education, medicine, theater, entertainment and, of course, travel.

    I went to taste the feeling of modern art. Moco Museum. Damien Hirst’s “Sacred Heart” plays a central role, and works by artists such as Andy Warhol, Banksy, Yayoi Kusuma, and Takashi Murakami are highlights.

    Takashi Murakami: “When I debuted as an artist, I felt it was very important to incorporate my own culture, people and country background into the world of contemporary art.”

    After the sensa-round sensation of the Dalinian Metaverse, it was interesting to see that there was a somewhat boring digital section and the NFT section was the least crowded section – although it used to be a taste of the art world. , now seems to have been relegated to another short feeling, just a moment gone by. If it weren’t for the word “NFT”, it would be just like looking at a piece of digital art, proving that everything new becomes old and old becomes new again.

    Ruins of the old market of El Born

    That’s how I felt when I stumbled across the ruins of the old El Born market while strolling through the charming El Born district. This ancient site reminds us of everyday life in Barcelona from the end of the 17th century to the beginning of the 18th century. The ruins give you an idea of ​​how the city resisted the forces of Felipe V until it surrendered on the 11th. September 1714.

    That’s the beauty of a leisurely stroll through Barcelona. One moment he drinks cocktails at his house in Soho and watches a beautiful sunset. It will be Eat fresh seafood at El Pescadores in a quiet village square in the heart of the city, be eaten alive by a giant lobster in a virtual world, or be trampled by a long-legged elephant. .

    As Dali said, “Beauty must be edible or inedible.”


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